Considering Filing Bankruptcy in Kentucky?
The Kentucky Economic Situation
Kentucky Governor Beshear’s prediction of a $1 billion budget shortfall for the next fiscal year appears to be a very likely scenario. The state’s current economic situation may not even begin to improve until late in 2010. Bankruptcies filed in 2008 hit record levels with over 21,000 in Kentucky alone, and nearly 98% of those filed by consumers. It is estimated that 1.4 million consumer bankruptcies will be filed in the U.S. in 2009, the surge triggered by the foreclosure crisis and economic downturn.
Investigating the Kentucky Bankruptcy Process
The Federal Bankruptcy Law involves processes, procedures and evaluations which can be complex and confusing, including major revisions made in 2005. Seek the advice of an attorney/law firm with specific long-term experience in Kentucky bankruptcy matters. Check references, if possible. A competent attorney will help you weigh your different options, make informed decisions, help you protect the security of your family and reduce your stress, while facing the realities of the situation.
Alternatives to Kentucky Bankruptcy
Contact your creditors to try to work out payment arrangements that you can manage. Contact the non-profit Consumer Credit Counseling service to get help with a manageable repayment plan. Sell as many assets as you can and pay down your debt to a manageable level. Debt consolidation may be considered, but approach this option with caution to make sure it actually helps your situation.
Filing Chapter 7 is the Most Common Consumer Bankruptcy Choice in Kentucky
Chapter 7 is the “fresh start” chapter of the Bankruptcy Code and most commonly used. This filing results in a fair distribution of your available nonexempt property to creditors. Unsecured debts are generally discharged. Included in this process is a “means test”, used to determine your ability to pay your creditors, verifying whether Chapter 7 is appropriate or indicating that you should be filing Chapter 13. Median Family Income by Family Size and current poverty guidelines are factors evaluated when determining appropriate filing status for a given situation.
Kentucky Bankruptcy Debts which Will Not be Discharged:
- Taxes owed to government agencies, such as the I.R.S., State of Kentucky, County, etc.
- Student loans (unless undue hardship can be proved),
- Debts incurred after the bankruptcy is filed
- Debts owed to a spouse for divorce-related obligatory expenses
- Debts not listed or scheduled or which the debtor waived discharge
- Debts for willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another person or property owned by another
Next Steps for the Kentucky Bankruptcy Filer
Kentucky residents and businesses continue to suffer, as the State’s economy struggles to recover. If you are considering bankruptcy, decisions you make and actions you take can have a positive or negative effect on the outcome of your bankruptcy proceedings. Although some filers elect to handle their bankruptcy on their own, The U.S. Bankruptcy Court warns that “Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences - hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended.” Click here to find Kentucky attorney resources in your area.